Court documents released on Friday revealed that Prince Harry is seeking damages of up to £320,000 ($405,000) from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) in the final stages of his phone-hacking lawsuit. The prince, alongside approximately 100 other individuals, has filed a lawsuit against MGN, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People, at London’s High Court. The legal action stems from allegations of phone-hacking and unlawful information gathering that allegedly occurred between 1991 and 2011.
Prince Harry Seeks Damages of £320,000 in Hacking Lawsuit
According to the plaintiffs, senior editors and executives at MGN were aware of and sanctioned the illicit activities. However, MGN, which is owned by Reach (RCH.L), is contesting the lawsuit, asserting that there is insufficient evidence to support the accusations.
Prince Harry claims to have been a target of MGN for 15 years starting in 1996. He alleges that more than 140 stories published in MGN’s papers resulted from unlawful information gathering. However, the trial, which is set to conclude on Friday, only focuses on 33 of these articles.
In the recently released court documents, Prince Harry seeks damages of up to £320,000 in connection with the 33 articles in the event that the court rules in his favor on all counts. Additionally, the court will examine whether Harry is entitled to receive aggravated damages, which aim to compensate the claimant for the distress caused by the defendant’s actions.
MGN disputes the allegations made against them, arguing that none of the 33 articles stemmed from unlawful information gathering. The publisher contends that there is no evidence to support the claim that Prince Harry’s phone was hacked. Furthermore, MGN asserts that some of the personal information about Harry had been obtained with the consent of senior Buckingham Palace aides.
The court documents released on Friday state that MGN believes Prince Harry should receive no more than £37,000, even if he prevails on all 33 articles.
During the trial’s commencement in May, MGN admitted to engaging a private investigator in 2004 to unlawfully gather evidence about Prince Harry. However, the published article related to that incident does not form part of the trial. MGN argues that Prince Harry should only be awarded a maximum of £500 in damages for that specific occurrence.
In an unprecedented move, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, testified in court for a day and a half earlier this month. His appearance marked the first time a senior royal has given evidence in court in 130 years.